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Floatplane Notebooks

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The Copeland family of Listre, North Carolina, gathers every May to clean up the graveyard and talk. Everyone of them has stories to tell, and it is Albert Copeland who writes it all down in the notebooks he started years ago. The notebooks know all the best-kept secrets—of love, loss adl earning to let go....
"Has all the marks of a new American classic."
ATLANTA JOURNAL ...
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The Floatplane Notebooks: A Novel

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Overview

The Copeland family of Listre, North Carolina, gathers every May to clean up the graveyard and talk. Everyone of them has stories to tell, and it is Albert Copeland who writes it all down in the notebooks he started years ago. The notebooks know all the best-kept secrets—of love, loss adl earning to let go....
"Has all the marks of a new American classic."
ATLANTA JOURNAL & CONSTITUTION

When Albert Copeland bought the notebook in 1956, he intended to log the glorious flights of his home-made floatplane. The plane never did fly--but Thatcher and bliss got married, Noralee had about a hundred hippy boyfriends, and The Floatplane Notebooks became the daily diary of Copeland schemes and Copeland dreams.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his third novel (after Raney and Walking Through Egypt ), Edgerton again demonstrates his ability to reveal character through sharply etched dialogue and wildly hilarious circumstance. He also achieves a deeper resonance in this story of the blue-collar Copeland family of North Carolina. The voices of various narrators produce a composite family portrait that takes the Copelands from the placid summer of 1956 to the Vietnam War years of the '60s. In Edgerton's deceptively simple prose, we learn about such traditions as grave-cleaning day, the annual hunting trip to Florida and Albert Thatcher's ongoing, seemingly doomed efforts to construct a floatplane with aluminum pontoons. Another narrative voicethat of the wisteria vine that overruns the graveyardalso imparts family secrets; this, however, is a labored device that hampers credibility. In all other respects, the novel is absorbing as the voices obliquely reveal family relationships, personality clashes, sibling rivalry and small-town social mores. But the tale becomes gripping and wrenchingly vivid when Meredith Copeland and his cousin Mark Oakley enlist in the military and are sent to Southeast Asia. Here, too, is when the reader discovers that Edgerton is not a predictable writer; he turns our expectations head over heels, showing how circumstances can change character in surprising ways. This is a mature novel in which Edgerton's subtle mastery of his craft is made increasingly clear. BOMC featured selection; QPBC alternate. (September)
Library Journal
Despite their diversity, the Copelands are drawn together twice each year by recurring rituals of family unitythe spring grave cleaning and the winter trip to visit Uncle Hawk in Florida. By skillfully using six different first-person narrators, Edgerton recounts the family exploits between 1956 and 1971 and provides significant glimpses of family history as far back as the Civil War. The book's focus is on the family as an abiding unit, but a single character who does stand out is Meredith. His mischief provides much of the outrageous humor in early chapters, and his war injuries in Vietnam lead to a painful but moving climax. Like Edgerton's two earlier novels ( Raney, LJ 4/1/85; Walking Across Egypt, LJ 3/15/87), this one should have wide appeal.Albert E. Wilhelm, Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517086377
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992

Meet the Author


Clyde Edgerton is the author of eight novels, five of which have been New York Times Notables. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and performs with his band, Rank Strangers. Author Web site—www.clydeedgerton.com.
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